By Kate Nelson

It doesn’t get more picturesque than Salamander Resort & Spa. Just an hour from the nation’s capital, the sprawling 340-acre estate sits at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in America’s horse and hunt capital, Middleburg, Virginia. The equestrian theme is carried throughout the luxe property, from the horses grazing in their paddocks to the equine art gracing the hotel’s walls.

All of the 168 well-appointed guest rooms feature private balconies, canopy beds, soaking tubs and sumptuous surroundings. Among the 17 suites is the 1,680-square-foot Owner’s Suite, a personal representation of the resort’s founder, entertainment mogul Sheila Johnson. Combining her own passion for wellness with her daughter’s love for horses, she spent more than a decade envisioning and shaping Salamander, which opened its doors back in 2013.

The equestrian center is one of the finest such facilities in the country, with its exquisite 22-stall stable, expansive outdoor riding arena and nine resident horses. Offerings include lessons, trail riding, equine-communication classes and the signature EquiSpective program, an exercise in self-discovery. It’s an inspired place for novices and experienced equestrians alike.

The dining is world-class, showcasing local ingredients from Virginia’s Piedmont region. The spa, meanwhile, is a place of pure glory, with 23,000 square feet featuring 14 treatment rooms, a full-service salon, a fitness center, and a secluded courtyard complete with an infinity-edged relaxation pool and cabanas. For the less equine-inclined, there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy, including cooking classes, zip lining, tennis, golf, tours at the nearby wineries and shopping along Middleburg’s quaint Washington Street. Salamander Resort & Spa is the ultimate horse-country escape. There’s simply no better place to unwind, get inspired and indulge in all things equestrian.

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.

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